Monarchy

  • richard i of england being anointed during his coronation in westminster abbey, from a 13th-century chronicle.

    a monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. the legitimation and governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic), to restricted (constitutional monarchy), to fully autocratic (absolute monarchy), combining executive, legislative and judicial power.

    in most cases, the succession of monarchies is hereditary, often building dynastic periods, but there are also elective[1] and self-proclaimed monarchies. aristocrats, though not inherent to monarchies, often serve as the pool of persons to draw the monarch from and fill the constituting institutions (e.g. diet and court), giving many monarchies oligarchic elements.

    a monarchy can be a polity through unity, personal union, vassalage or federation, and monarchs can carry various titles such as king, queen, emperor, khan, caliph, tsar, or sultan.

    the republican form of government has been established as the opposing and main alternative to monarchy.[2][3][4] republics though have seen infringements through lifelong or even hereditary heads of state. republics’ heads of state are often styled "president" or a variant thereof.

    monarchy was the most common form of government until the 20th century. forty-five sovereign nations in the world have a monarch as head of state, including sixteen commonwealth realms that each have queen elizabeth ii (in separate capacities). most modern monarchs are constitutional monarchs, who retains a unique legal and ceremonial role but exercise limited or no political power under the nation's constitution. in some nations, however, such as brunei, morocco, oman, qatar, saudi arabia, eswatini and thailand, the hereditary monarch has more political influence than any other single source of authority in the nation, either by tradition or by a constitutional mandate.

  • etymology
  • history
  • characteristics and role
  • succession
  • current monarchies
  • see also
  • notes and references
  • external links

Richard I of England being anointed during his coronation in Westminster Abbey, from a 13th-century chronicle.

A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimation and governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic), to restricted (constitutional monarchy), to fully autocratic (absolute monarchy), combining executive, legislative and judicial power.

In most cases, the succession of monarchies is hereditary, often building dynastic periods, but there are also elective[1] and self-proclaimed monarchies. Aristocrats, though not inherent to monarchies, often serve as the pool of persons to draw the monarch from and fill the constituting institutions (e.g. diet and court), giving many monarchies oligarchic elements.

A monarchy can be a polity through unity, personal union, vassalage or federation, and monarchs can carry various titles such as king, queen, emperor, khan, caliph, tsar, or sultan.

The republican form of government has been established as the opposing and main alternative to monarchy.[2][3][4] Republics though have seen infringements through lifelong or even hereditary heads of state. Republics’ heads of state are often styled "President" or a variant thereof.

Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 20th century. Forty-five sovereign nations in the world have a monarch as head of state, including sixteen Commonwealth realms that each have Queen Elizabeth II (in separate capacities). Most modern monarchs are constitutional monarchs, who retains a unique legal and ceremonial role but exercise limited or no political power under the nation's constitution. In some nations, however, such as Brunei, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Eswatini and Thailand, the hereditary monarch has more political influence than any other single source of authority in the nation, either by tradition or by a constitutional mandate.